Police Asked to Investigate Two D.C. Ambulance Fires

Another ambulance dispatched to transport patient

D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander Jr. asked police to investigate fires in the engines of two D.C. ambulances Tuesday -- one in Southeast and another at the Washington Hospital Center.

Fire crews were sent to the 4700 block of Benning Road SE Tuesday to extinguish the blaze around 9:30 a.m. outside an apartment building. There's no word on the cause, but the fire was in the engine compartment.

Two firefighters left the ambulance unattended while working on a patient, Chief Kenneth Ellerbe said. The department put out a reminder in June not to leave units running unattended.

"They got to do better. They got all this money from all these ticket enforcement... put some of that back into [ambulances]," one woman told News4.

Another ambulance was dispatched to transport the patient, who had been struck on the head with an aerosol can by his sister, News4's Darcy Spencer reporter. The man is expected to be okay.

The ambulance is the second dispatched by Station 27 in Deanwood to catch fire. Ironically, it was a reserve truck sent out to replace the other damaged truck.

"It's unfortunate," Dabney Hudson with D.C. Firefighters Association said. "This is just a snapshot of the bigger problems we've been sounding the alarm on for the past 2½ years with the emergency response fleet."

The second ambulance that caught fire Tuesday was responding to the Washington Hospital Center.

The incidents came five days after another D.C. ambulance -- this one on a call to the White House -- ran out of gas. The Washington Times reported that the ambulance was left behind on the South Lawn when a presidential motorcade left Thursday.

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